Monday, February 26, 2024

Bremen Six Day 2018 – Nights Four, Five and Six

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HomeDiariesBremen Six Day 2018 - Nights Four, Five and Six

“All is forgiven,” Mr. Kenny De Ketele.

After the two and four lap finale debacles of Gent and Rotterdam the Belgian former World Champion finally served us up a proper, entertaining final chase in the Bremen Six Day 2018; five teams were all in with realistic podium chances going into the closing 60 minute chase and the winning move only came late in the day.

Check out the first three nights Diary.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Kenny and Theo dominated in Bremen. Photo©Ed Hood

De Ketele, partnered by Germany’s Theo Reinhardt, had looked ominously strong all week, opening and closing big gaps with ease whenever the need arose.

The physicality, bobbing shoulders in particular, of his younger days has gone – solid in the saddle and smooth as a Cancellara motorised acceleration he looks the part 100%.

Our man, Achim Burkart, partnered by Dutch strongman Yoeri Havik lead into the last 60 minutes but even without a crash damaged shoulder, the young German and experienced Dutchman would have struggled to beat the ‘men in black.’

Third spot went to Danish/German duo of Jesper Morkov & Christian Grasmann.

As Mørkøv said; ‘we’re two big diesels and just don’t have the jump that riders like Kenny have.’

Just off the podium were France’s World Madison Champion, Morgan Kneisky partnered by Aussie, Leigh Howard who’s no stranger to a rainbow jersey himself.

* * *

Day Four

But let’s turn the clock back to Sunday…

BANG!

Who’s down?

It’s Achim!

Damn it!

He’s OK but scratch his second 60 Euro Conti in two days and those beautiful, fast red, aero shoes look like they’ve been chewed by a ‘gator – and that’s before we look at the lump out of crash hat.

It happened in the first Devil of the day, everyone wakens up after that one.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Photo©Ed Hood

There was, of course much debate after the spill and the blame went round in a circle until everyone got bored.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Theo Reinhardt. Photo©Ed Hood

Sunday, with it’s early start and early finish is ‘media’ day – it would be easy to pretend that Theo Reinhardt’s interview was being conducted in a coal mine, with the dark, low ceilings and timber supports.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Leigh Howard. Photo©Ed Hood

Leigh Howard, coming from Oz and the great outdoors prefers to do his talking out in the open but leans on the banking to emphasise it’s steepness – a ‘wall of death’ 58 degrees, according to the programme.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Achim and Yoeri. Photo©Ed Hood

To make up for his crash, Achim won the Madison with Yoeri – more flowers in the cabin, always nice.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Photo©Ed Hood
Bremen Six Day 2018
Photo©Ed Hood

Achim is a man in demand with the local radio visiting the cabin then the TV guys grabbing him on the way out.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Photo©Ed Hood

Even more flowers now – with our boy Moritz and his amigo, young Freuler winning the devil.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Grasmann and Mørkøv. Photo©Ed Hood
Bremen Six Day 2018
Stroetinga and Ghys. Photo©Ed Hood

I can’t remember if it was Grasmann/Mørkøv or Stroetinga/Ghys won the last Madison – so we’ve published pictures of both so as not to cause offence.

There was the sun streaming in the windows; and the race was finished – all’s well in the world.

And there was even Parmesan with the pasta…

* * *

Day Five

And we’re back in the lead!

But it’s very tight with as many as five teams potentially worth a podium in this entertaining bike race.

The first chase was a sore one for Achim, he damaged the muscles and tendons in his shoulder in yesterday’s crash but showed real grinta, refusing to be neutralised or ‘hide’ in the chase – respect.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Jesper takes a sling from Grasmann. Photo©Ed Hood

Grasmann and Mørkøv take the first chase.

The Dernys – lots of noise and, erm, someone won it.

Bremen Six Day 2018
Photo©Ed Hood

A la Grenoble Six Days of a year or two ago – where cabaret was a big deal – the organisation had a trio of gymnasts put on a show in the track centre during one of the breaks; it went down well – preposterously strong men.